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Readers Split On Bill To Gradually Increase The Minimum Wage In St. Louis

June 10, 2015 Economy, Featured, Sunday Poll 3 Comments
Demonstrators in front of Wendy's in Rock Hill,  August 26, 2013
Demonstrators in front of Wendy’s in Rock Hill, August 26, 2013

Readers split on the question of raising the minimum wage in St. Louis.  Here are the results of the Sunday Poll:

Q: A bill introduced Friday would raise the minimum wage in St. Louis to $10/hr, with annual increases of $1.25/hr until reaching $15/hr in 2020. I…

  1. Strongly support 12 [25.53%]
  2. Oppose 11 [23.4%]
  3. Support 10 [21.28%]
  4. Strongly oppose 9 [19.15%]
  5. Neutral 3 [6.38%]
  6. Unsure/no opinion 2 [4.26%]

Support narrowly edged opposition 22-20.  The common argument against raising the minimum wage is that doing so would lead to inflation. That’s interesting, because the minimum wage hasn’t kept up with inflation:

Myth: The federal minimum wage goes up automatically as prices increase.

Not true: While some states have enacted rules in recent years triggering automatic increases in their minimum wages to help them keep up with inflation, the federal minimum wage does not operate in the same manner. An increase in the federal minimum wage requires approval by Congress and the president. However, in his call to gradually increase the current federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, President Obama has also called for it to adjust automatically with inflation. Eliminating the requirement of formal congressional action would likely reduce the amount of time between increases, and better help low-income families keep up with rising prices.
Myth: The federal minimum wage is higher today than it was when President Reagan took office.

Not true: While the federal minimum wage was only $3.35 per hour in 1981 and is currently $7.25 per hour in real dollars, when adjusted for inflation, the current federal minimum wage would need to be more than $8 per hour to equal its buying power of the early 1980s and more nearly $11 per hour to equal its buying power of the late 1960s. That’s why President Obama is urging Congress to increase the federal minimum wage and give low-wage workers a much-needed boost. (Minimum Wage Mythbusters — U.S. Dept of Labor)

Not raising the minimum wage means these people find it harder and harder to survive each year as most everyone else gets raises, and groceries and other goods go up in cost. People are also focusing on $15/hr — that rate isn’t happening soon anywhere — increases will be gradual:

Among the cities that have enacted even higher local minimums are San Francisco ($15 by 2018), Seattle ($15 by 2021), Chicago ($13 by 2019) and Washington, D.C. ($11.50 by 2016), according to the National Employment Law Project. (5 facts about the minimum wage — Pew Reseach)

I hope this bill passes.

— Steve Patterson




Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. JZ71 says:

    I didn’t say that raising the minimum wage would cause inflation, I said that the minimum wage is an arbitrary number, and unless there are price controls to go along with wage controls, you haven’t solved the “problem”. Bottom line, every worker is paid wnat their employer thinks they are worth. It’s supply and demand – if a worker is easily replaceable (low skill), and there is a large supply of potential workers, why would any employer pay any more than the minimum level to keep the position filled? If the supply of workers is inadequate, if there are more positions open than workers to fill them, wages go up as employers bid for workers. If you want more money, make yourself more valuable – get more skills, change jobs (or careers) or go to places where workers are in short supply. Areas with stagnant economies and high unemployment are not places to be looking for economic advancement. And, if “most everyone else gets raises” and you don’t, it’s time to take a hard look in the mirror. If you’re one of those people who finds “it harder and harder to survive each year as . . . groceries and other goods go up in cost”, and expect to have the MINIMUM wage be the answer, you need to reconsider your priorities: http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2014/03/18/north-dakota-oil-skilled-labor-shortage/

  2. mark-al says:


    The average starting 2012-13 salary for a teacher in the state of Missouri was +/- $ 30,000.00. Assuming 180 work days, an average of 10 hrs. per work day (8 for classroom work, 2 for class preparation/other teacher-related activities), a novice Missouri teacher makes around 16.75 per hour. Compare his/her responsibilities to those of a Burger King French Fryer! And frankly, 10 hrs. a day is a LOW estimate, based on the Missouri, Alabama and Nevada teachers whom I know! Now add the expenses of classroom supplies that MOST teachers incur out of their own pockets….and you’ll find that teachers with a 4-yr degree (in whatever!) won’t be clearing much more than a high-school dropout with a shiny new car whose most difficult work decision is whether to place the eggs in the same bag with the apples. Overpaying a soda jerk is just another step toward socialism, especially when you consider that there are several other little bags of government money available to the ‘right person’! Even if in 2015 teachers are given a 3% raise, the guy stocking shelves at Aldi’s certainly doesn’t deserve to be on the same pay scale as a person whose responsibility is to nurture and educate our country’s finest assets!

  3. Mark-AL says:


    Interesting sub-link (found on the before-referenced link) used to calculate teacher salaries. Without much effort or without applying any creative accounting practices, you’ll see that the novice $15.00 Burger King French Fryer will make more than the novice teacher who has a 4-yr college degree, is responsible for repayment of student loans, and serves as the major influence in your kid’s life, at least from 8AM to 4PM each day! Now that’s the sign of a healthy society, isn’t it? Gotta hand it to those insightful democrats!


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